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'Doomsday predictions' against Noisy Lobster bid for alcohol licence

OBJECTORS to controversial plans to allow a seafront restaurant in Mudeford to sell takeaway alcohol have been accused of making unfair “doomsday predictions” about the potential impact.

Members of a BCP Council's licensing sub-committee considered the application for the Noisy Lobster last week after its proposals drew dozens of objections, writes Josh Wright of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

But these were criticised by restaurant director Peter Hayward who said at the meeting that they were “scaremongering”.

The Noisy Lobster wants a permanent licence to sell alcohol from its hatch
The Noisy Lobster wants a permanent licence to sell alcohol from its hatch

The outcome of the meeting will not be made public until later this week.

Mr Hayward applied earlier this year for permission to sell alcohol from the restaurant’s takeaway fish and chips concession, named the Lobster Hatch.

He said this had already been done through temporary approval by BCP Council and had sought permission to extend the restaurant’s licence to make it permanent.

Speaking at the licensing meeting, he said the new arrangement would “provide an improved and more efficient service for customers” by reducing queues.

“Over the past four years we have sold alcohol to take away and consumption with food using temporary event notices,” he said.

“These were assigned at the busiest times of the year, during heatwaves and bank holidays, and we have not received any complaints.

“To refuse the application, we believe, would be prejudice against us and reacting to the scaremongering ongoing from local residents since our inception.

“Every improvement we have made has come against objections and doomsday predictions of what might transpire. Instead they have resulted in a hugely attractive and desirable location.”

No objection to the application was made by Dorset Police after a series of conditions, including the installation of CCTV, were agreed with the restaurant.

However, speaking at the meeting, people living nearby reiterated their concerns about the proposals.

Cllr Paul Hilliard, the ward councillor for Mudeford, Stanpit and West Highcliffe, was representing them and said it was “not appropriate” for permanent permission to be granted.

“It will clearly impact adversely on the licensing objectives in all four areas,” he said. “Off-sales will encourage all-day drinking, leading to increased public nuisance to other beach users.

“The premises is located in a residential area which is likely to be disturbed by nuisance and disturbance in the late evening.”

A decision was made after the meeting but the outcome will only be made public when the decision notice is published late this week.

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